Project Life Quality is an amazing organization that raises awareness for domestic abuse and encourages survivors to share their stories and heal through art. They do weekly challenges. This weeks challenge was a poem, telling people what you would like them to know about abuse, and how to support you. I decided to partake. This is a free form, free write poem.
A Survivors Poem
Why does it always come down to me?
Asking why didn’t I leave?
Because part of me still believed the lies that he’d told me.
My brain was such a fog, that it was hard to see the truth,
Through the fear, obligation, and guilt.
A subconscious whisper tormenting me,
saying if I, If I, If I,
If I just loved enough, gave enough, tried harder, did it differently,
then maybe, maybe, maybe, it wouldn’t be so painful.
Maybe, it would change him. Change the outcome this time.
Abuse doesn’t make sense, it has no answers, it can’t be compared to normal rules or truth.
So before you lay your judgement, or look at me with shame. Before you blame a victim, take the time to recognize,
That we were lied to when we were young or still believed, that people were truly good at heart, and no one could be evil.
Because no one looks for evil, from someone who professes love,
and showers you with affection, and tells you that you’re the one,
but it’s the little mind games, that go on daily for so much time, that slowly strip your confidence, and make you believe the lies,
that isolate you from loved ones so they can’t get through to you.
and make you hide in shame, embarrassed to share the truth.
It’s the jokes that aren’t funny to tear you down a notch, or the backhanded compliments that leave you feeling stumped.
It’s subtle and it’s dragged out, and many cannot see
the daily baseline abuse, as it strips your self esteem.
Walking on eggshells, always trying to keep the peace.
Doing everything you can to prevent a fight,
But in trying to keep things calm, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s right.
And just when you get to the end of your rope,
When your about to give up, cause you’re broken and you’ve lost hope,
They change the script and do, the most evil thing of all, and they pretend to be sorry, or put on a show, they act better, and for a moment, remind you of the love, that they showed you in the beginning, when they said you were the one.
And you question leaving and think maybe they’ve finally changed, it’s so much easier to stay.
So much time invested, so much heartache, tears, and even smiles,
its hard to give up, when you think they can reconcile.
But that’s just part of the cycle, and the good is just the cliff, and they smile on the edge, as they push you and you plummet, right back down to the challenges, the confusion and the pain. All the ups and downs really mess with your brain.
It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how smart or confident. You don’t see it coming when you meet someone like this. They’re conniving, and they’re sneaky and masterly manipulative. And by the time you see the truth you are in so deep, that the way out isn’t clear, and it’s dark and hard to see,
But there is light at the end of the tunnel, on the other side of their chains, there’s happiness, and hope, and real love awaits. But if I ever get sad, or triggered to remember how dark it was, sit with me with patience, and extend an arm of love.
I don’t need your judgements, your advice, or opinions pushed,
I just need to know I’m not alone, and it’s safe to share my truth.
Your acceptance and support and loving tools, are the things that give me strength. Don’t shatter me with hard truths, don’t push, please I’ve had enough, show me a better way, the way of truth, and real love.
That gives me hope for a future that my past tried to steal,
and reminds me I am worthy, no matter how much pain I feel.
The love of friends and family and the truth of what is right.
Those are the things, that help me most to heal.